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Comparing Missouri’s re-opening order to federal guidelines

gov mike parson covid-19
Gov. Mike Parson's Office


Missouri's new order allowing businesses to operate under relaxed rules breaks away from some federal guidelines on re-opening.

An ABC 17 News review shows that the order released by Gov. Mike Parson and the Department of Health and Senior Services gives fewer rules for businesses to follow than the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommended. The state's order, for example, does not call for businesses to make any special accommodations for people considered vulnerable to the virus or closing common areas.

The order does say businesses "shall abide by social distancing requirements, including maintaining six feet of space between individuals." It does ask that employees that must come within six feet of people to do their jobs "take enhanced precautionary measures to mitigate the risks of contracting or spreading COVID-19."

Parson has long said he expects businesses to maintain social distancing in their shops.

Leaders in Missouri said that they believe the state has met some of the beginning requirements the White House called for in rolling back social distancing. That includes a "downward trajectory" of new cases over two weeks. The average number of new cases added has dropped in the last eight days, growing by 188 cases a day since April 20. The caseload grew by 205 new cases a day from April 12 through 19.

The state's order allows bars to open up on May 4 with some restrictions. The White House said bars specifically "should remain closed" during the first phase of re-opening.

Parson's order also removes limitations on social gatherings of more than 10 people. The White House guidelines said people should avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people if proper distancing can't be kept up.

The state does follow federal guidelines in regards to nursing homes. Both say that people cannot and should not visit people living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. The state order does allow for such visits in case of emergency.

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Lucas Geisler

Lucas Geisler anchors 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.. shows for ABC 17 News and reports on the investigative stories.


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